by Dipakshi P.
Walking onto the UNC campus on June 12th, the first thing I pointed out to my mom as my family walked to the dorms for the first time was a cute little squirrel staring at me from the nearby tree. Pointing at the friendly, little squirrel I had exclaimed to my parents that I would make friends with all the squirrels during my stay here at SSP. Listening to my abnormal banter, my mom replied that she hoped I would make actual human friends during the process as well. I laughed at the time, nervous about whether I would be able to fit in and find “my people,” but now in hindsight I truly should not have worried so much about it.
Kind of weird to think about, but I realized that all the people here at SSP somewhat resemble the curious, entertaining squirrels outside. By simply watching my fellow participants during the first couple of days, I realized how they all scurried, scrambled, and sped through campus every day with semi-awkward and sudden movements very similar to the common squirrel. Noticing this, I became aware of the fact I was not the only one anxious about fitting in, but in reality we all were in the same boat. This helped me to relax a little bit as we got thrown straight into the deep end with endless assignments. Luckily we have the best TAs and professors who are always ready to help whenever we need – converting our confusion to best understanding.
But it wasn’t long till I realized that my mom’s crazy suggestion was actually so much easier than I could ever imagine. All us SSPers are so similar to the little cuties that originally caught my attention. Every second of each day here, each and every one of us has to keep working nonstop and keep pushing ourselves to the limits, no matter what. We’re all working in an incredibly fast paced environment that none of us were accustomed to. We all need each other to work together, lean on, and mess around to get through this amazingly, crazy experience. Believe it or not, we’re all in this together as a bunch of science squirrels. And that’s what made us all friends. Similarities easily make the best friends. How else can you relate to someone when you both are going through the same arduous but fun work every day. But, I’m so glad that these people became my friends for this reason, cause this experience has to be shared. Thank you to everyone for just being there 🙂
Hello! I’m Dipakshi and I am from Sylvania, Ohio! Outside of school, I love to play tennis and the violin, enjoy quality time with my dog named Pluto, and relish looking at the beauty of nature! At SSP you can find me vigorously trying (keyword) to decipher the obscure language of python, laughing with my friends, or fast asleep in my dorm!